Fireplaces are lifesavers, especially during winter when temperatures are unbearable. It’s vital for every home that experiences cold seasons to have a fireplace. However, understanding how to put out a fire is critical because doing so incorrectly could cause injuries.
Putting out a fire in a fireplace is easy. However, it requires adequate focus and maximum safety. Following the steps, you’ll learn how to extinguish a fire in wood fireplaces. In addition, remember to schedule regular fireplace maintenance for optimum results.
Here is a rundown of how to light a fire in a fireplace.
Numerous tools are at your disposal to effectively extinguish fires in various devices. A fire extinguisher works well in an emergency, while a fireplace shovel is handy for scooping and moving ashes. Use a poker to spread embers and an ash container to collect remnants. Tongs help handle burning wood, and a metallic ash scoop simplifies ash removal.
Protect yourself with a screen to avoid sparks, and rely on baking soda or sand to extinguish the fire. Exercise caution when using these implements, as improper use can cause burns. Additionally, avoid resorting to makeshift items like sticks, as they may be unsuitable for the task.
Stop Adding More Fuel
A crucial step in removing the fire is to stop adding fuel. If you’ve been enjoying the warmth of your fireplace and now want to end the session, you shouldn’t add more wood or any fire starter (accelerator). That way, the burning process will gradually cool down and allow you to proceed with the rest of the steps.
Spread the Embers and Woods
You can begin by removing excess wood and removing it separately. Using a screen around the fire is best to protect yourself from fire sparks. However, if there isn’t much wood in the fireplace, you can spread it alongside the embers.
This process creates a flattened surface, which allows fire to cool. Ensure the right tools are used for this procedure to avoid accidental burns.
Reshuffle the Ash
As the embers cool down, you can shovel and reshuffle the ashes with an ash scoop. This is simply scooping the hot ashes below and putting them above. The coolest ashes are found far away from the center. Repeat the process with short breaks until all the ashes cool down.
Add Baking Soda
To put a fire in a fireplace, add baking soda to the extinguished ashes. You can check if the ashes have cooled satisfactorily by placing a piece of paper above them (not your finger).
Baking soda is a great way to ignite a fireplace. This substance contains sodium bicarbonate, a chemical compound that releases carbon dioxide to stop further combustion. Sand is an alternative to baking soda, but should be a second option.
Observe the Fireplace
It’s imperative not to leave the fireplace after adding baking soda. Instead, waiting a little longer to ensure the fire is completely put off would be better. Imagine if the fire re-ignited after you’d left, assuming everything is okay. Unsafe, right? Experts recommend observing for 15 to 20 minutes before clearing the ashes.
Clean the Fireplace
You can clean the fireplace now that the fire has been extinguished. However, this doesn’t have to be immediate. Whether you clean the fireplace the same day or later, the process begins with shovelling the ashes and putting them into an ash container.
Fireplace ashes should be disposed of away from combustible materials. It’s also wise not to clean them off entirely but leave a thin layer to cushion the bricks.
Don’t Use Water
There might have been a mention of sprinkling water over the ashes, but you have not seen it yet. While many put out fires in fireplaces by watering the ashes, this may not be a wise idea. Sprinkling water over hot ashes often releases smoke that can cause choking if inhaled alongside external steam burns.
Furthermore, water can ruin bricks by cracking and heaving them, reducing their lifespan and functionality. However, you may still use it during an emergency and when you don’t have sand or baking soda.
Safety should remain at the forefront when handling fireplace fires. Some key safety measures include installing carbon monoxide detectors to identify awkward smoke or a fireplace that hasn’t cooled down completely. A fire extinguisher should be nearby for emergency purposes.
Additionally, use metallic essentials (tongs, shovels, or ash containers) as others may damage your heat and burn your hands. Do not keep flammable items nearby when lighting the fire or even after because the area may not have cooled completely.
Lastly, fireplace fires should be put out only by professionals for maximum safety. If you’re unsure about the process, you can always seek help from an expert and learn from them.
Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources “Joe Joe.” he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.